Moral Amnesia: why is toxic behavior acceptable?

We are in an ethical crisis. The affliction with many government leaders, companies, educational institutions and people is moral amnesia.  Whether you are in a leadership role or not, the state of ethical behavior is under scrutiny.

Take the matter of a teacher watching two boys fist fight in a Texas classroom.  The teacher does have a moral obligation and an ethical responsibility to prevent human suffering. After all, the teacher is a role model (or should be) and sets the standard.  It does not matter what “the law” says. Is this teacher suffering from Moral Amnesia?

Moral — Of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior.

Ethical — Behaving with integrity. Defining immoral and unethical is defining pornography: You know it when you see it.

But what does it mean to be ethical and moral? It sounds like a good thing, and normally most people steer clear of unethical behavior.  But how do you know if someone is ethical or not? Should it even be important?

Many people think ethics and integrity are the same. Realistically ethics are the statements hanging on the wall while integrity is the way the ethics are consistently applied. Perhaps walking your talk is the real definition.

Ethics are perceived as the values displayed in your personal life, and integrity is the way you model and apply your values to relationships, parenting, caring and giving.  Ethics plus integrity equal morality.

Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men. Confucius

Many people are drugged with Moral Amnesia. How about the Sofitel sexual assault involving IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn? This is the epitome of toxic behavior and invincibility. Do some people think they are so above the fray that they can live on the edge and never get cut?

The affects of Moral Amnesia are far reaching and highly visible role models influence the future behavior of our society.

What moral amnesia does is make it OK not to notice and more importantly, check your own behavior:

  • Cheating on expense reports
  • Promising clients services and products that cannot be supplied
  • Including personal expenditures as business
  • Creating policy for others but not abiding by the same policy
  • Expecting others to do the dirty work
  • Padding financial budgets to cover poor planning

As Martin Luther King, Jr. Said, “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”

Save the date! August 25, and 26, 2011

I will be the guest speaker at Tom Hopkins Boot Camp so be sure to take advantage of early registration!!

Email Marsha for a complimentary copy of The Ten Commandments of Cooperation

The Decontaminator of Toxic People
Professional Speaker and Author
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One Comment

  1. Beryl says:

    My annual evaluation was written to protect my administrator and place blame on me for her errors. I have written rebuttal questions and have a meeting with a 3rd party tomorrow. How assertive should I be? I want parts of the eval to be rewritten to reflect the truth or omitted altogether. The 3rd party is also an Administrator so she has to follow their protect one another code of silence pointing the finger at the rank and file. HELP! This is my good name with over 41 years in the professional workplace. Any suggestions before tomorrow at 9am LA time, Ha Ha was worth a try.
    Thank you Marsha

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